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On View
Anton Kern
October 9 – November 15, 2014
New York

Unified Field of Unexpected Radiance

How many crosses cross the stretcher bar
In order to ignore the inner frame with endearment?
Some were struck by how the image falls
So swiftly from two thin layers of Ivory black
Just enough to DECLARE he has finally left
The powerful and dark vein of American romanticism
That has housed the spirits of Albert Pinkham Ryder,
Ralph Blakelock, Marsden Hartley, Myron Stout,
Forrest Bess, James Harrison, Bill Jensen
[And a few in between, and after].

Drips, smears, thick and thin, here he comes,
Stepping on that landmark drop cloth that offers
Endless highways that haven’t been explored
Since Easy Rider drove through (in 1969).
It’s the speed of “Music of Love”
That tends to occasionally slow down his journey
But only for one hour, or maybe two,
Before Elmore James’s “Dust My Broom”
Is played aloud in the middle of NOWHERE.

Someone in the next room says,
“The pink anatomy is being swallowed up by de Kooning’s
Octopus over RED, GREEN, and YELLOW stripes.”
We all can agree that “The Tree” of life encourages
HIM to meet a few French Surrealists in the desert
At DAWN, or is it in the middle of our psychedelic prayers
During the season’s turn.

There he also shakes hands with Dieter Roth,
Blinky Palermo, Sigmar Polke, Julian Schnabel,
But kisses both hands of Hilma Af Klint, Emma Kunz,
Buddha, and all the SELF-TAUGHT artists at
Rivington House in the Lower East Side.

Swollen mushrooms personify the entire
Orchestra of dance with an inexplicable sound.
No “Chameleon” has heard of it.

Certainly not since George Harrison and friends
Gave the famous concert for BANGLADESH
(On Sunday August 1, 1971) at Madison Square Garden.
Once again Martin is “Shining Through for George.”
Do you think an up-side-down Stonehenge has anything
In common with a 1970s suburban family picnic?

The “Perfect” 4-door saloon, aluminum foil,
Smeared again, this time on a irregular surface in the desert
..…………………….At DUSK………………………………
That renders prominent silhouettes of unidentified trees.
Mushrooms infused temporarily with Ryder’s clouds,
Even with postcards that caricature the grand vistas of
----------------- The Hudson River School ----------------

Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, Grand Canyon,
Flowing clouds in vertical formations.
Spare and clear skies before FRANK MOORE
Inspire the dream Buffalo.

Zigzagging between glimpses of light
That have been hidden in the nebulous cave.
More pouring, dripping with awesome velocity
The margin of Clyfford Still’s fierce frontality
Has been broadened for the sake of freedom.
And “Space is the Place.”


Chris Martin, “Untitled,” 2014. Acrylic, oil, and glitter on canvas, 88 1/4 × 77 ̋. Courtesy of the artist and Anton Kern Gallery, New York.

Chris Martin, “Untitled,” 2014. Acrylic and glitter on canvas, 64 × 59 1/4 ̋. Courtesy of the artist and Anton Kern Gallery, New York.


Phong Bui


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2014

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